World Cat 320 EC//Princecraft 22//Jeanneau NC9//17 Reviews

BoatTEST Newsletter December 21, 2011
If you cannot view the newsletter, click here. Tests You Can Trust
- Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
- Chaparral H2O 19 Sport
- Bayliner 197 SD
- MJM 40z
- Volvo Penta D4
- Pershing 74
- Tiara 4500 Sovran
- Tigé R20
- Sea Ray 185 Sport
- Yamaha FX HO Series
- Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
- Stingray 225 SX
- Jeanneau NC 9
- Princecraft Ventura 220 WS
- Cobia 21 Bay
- World Cat 320 EC
- Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S
- Volvo Penta OceanX
- Shurhold Products
- Picture of the Week
- Boating Course on DVD
- Capt. Steve's Weekly Lesson
- Ducky Award Winner

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage:
Designed for Families, Too

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
The 280 Outrage has a LOA of 27'7" (8.34 m) and a beam of 9'4" (2.8 m). Her weight of 6100 lbs. (2,767 kgs.) puts her in the middle when we compare her to other boats in class.

The 280 Outrage sits dead center in a line of 7 Outrageous Whalers, all dedicated to being seaworthy and comfortable offshore center consoles that can fish hull-to-hull with any boat on the market. But the 280 has also been designed with the family in mind. Boston Whaler has evolved this model into what is, in our opinion, an excellent coastal day cruising boat, and she can do a lot more than just fish. Let's see how Boston Whaler has done it...

Request full brochure

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Chaparral H2O 19 Sport:

New To The Affordable BR Market

Chaparral H2O 19 Sport
The all new H2O bowrider line from Chaparral is led by the 19 Sport model.

Chaparral launches into the entry-level market with the all-new-for-2012 H2O bowrider models. The four-boat lineup of 18- and 19-footers is designed to appeal to families who are just getting into boating and want to explore the on-water possibilities in well-built, properly powered platforms. The sterndrive 19 Sport model is powerful enough for tow sports and large enough for comfortable day cruising with friends and family aboard.

Let's take a look...

Request a brochure

cross ruler

Test Video

Bayliner 197 SD:

Room for 10 Plus Lots of Gear

Bayliner 197 SD
If you have a boat, you're likely to be a very popular person. With seating for 10 including the captain, you'll have no worries about who to leave behind.

The Bayliner 197 SD has a top speed of 39.1 mph, a cruise speed of 27.1 and range of 154 miles at cruise.  She can be powered with engines ranging from 135-hp
to 225-hp. We tested her with the 135-hp to give consumers an idea of how the 197
SD will perform with the least expensive option.  It's all in our full test and performance review so let's take a look.


cross ruler

New Features Video

MJM 40z:

Main Deck Features Video

MJM 40z

The MJM 40z is an unusual Downeast design with a very specific mission.  Trust
us, there is nothing on the market like her.

We found so much to talk about on the MJM 40z that we had a decision to make. Talk about fewer things or make two videos. We couldn't see anything that was average enough to not discuss so two videos it is. Today, we go over the large number of
unusual features just on the main deck.  This is the sort of thing that happens when a serious cruising boat is designed by real cruisers. 

Sure, but is there a grab handle anywhere?

cross ruler

New Test Video

Volvo Penta D4:

A Popular Marine Workhorse

Volvo Penta D4
The D4 was designed from the outset as a marine engine. In other words, it is not like most marine diesels which were originally designed for trucks and then refitted for marine use.

One thing that you can say about the Volvo Penta D4 is it's versatile. It comes in power ranging from 225 to 300-hp, it can be fitted to either a DPH sterndrive, IPS 350 or 400 pods, or a straight shaft inboard. It's also easy to maintain as the component parts are so easily identified. Since we've tested and reviewed this little powerhouse its popularity has continued to grow according to the folks at
Volvo Penta. So today, we take a features walkthrough of what may be the next power choice on either your new boat, or the old boat you're repowering.

To the test stand...

cross ruler

New Boat

New Pershing 74:

Beauty and the Beast

Pershing 74
With a dry weight of 101,986 lbs (46,260 kg) Pershing powers the 74 with a pair of 1,948-hp MTU engines and surface drives that they tell us will propel this silver bullet to a max speed of 44 kts (50.6 mph).

Mothers always tell their kids that it is "rude to stare" but when it comes to the Pershing line of boats we can never avoid it. Frankly, we -- along with most of the rest of the nautical world -- view the Pershing design concept with the awe usually reserved for a Donatello sculpture. Few boats on the planet have quite the level of "dock appeal" as does the Pershing line with its signature metallic silver topsides. (Other colors are available). The new Pershing 74 is an evolution of the old 72, and all of the graceful, compelling lines have been kept. But questions always arise in our mind when seeing something so aesthetically beautiful: How functional is she? Is she all show and no go? She looks good at the dock, but can you take her offshore?

Let's take a closer look...

cross ruler

New Test Video

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC:

New Age Fishing Skiff

Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC
Boasting plenty of wide-open deck space atop a broad beam, Mako’s new-for-2102 17 foot, 4 inch center console skiff is designed for comfortable shallow-water running and coastal fishing.

Originally built as work boats capable of carrying a heavy load of nets or traps across shallow, protected coastal waters, traditional skiff designs share characteristics that include a flat or nearly flat bottom with a broad beam for the boat’s length, and a blunt bow. Recreational anglers find those same features favorable for negotiating shallows while fishing protected waters where there is not the need for a traditional vee’d hull to tackle rough water on a regular basis. The skiff category has become popular as interest in in-shore light tackle saltwater fishing has grown. The Pro 17 Skiff CC is one of three skiff configurations Mako offers in 2012, which include a 17 tiller model, a 16 foot center console and an 18 foot Light Tackle version, with a new, shallow-running hull design.


Request brochure

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Tiara 4500 Sovran:

Making a Good Yacht Better

Tiara 4500 Sovran
The Tiara 4500 Sovran replaced the 4300 and the two extra feet all went into the stern of the boat. The yacht comes standard with the Volvo Penta IPS600 propulsion system.

The Tiara 4300 was one of the first boats launched in production with the IPS600 drive system a number of years ago and became one of Tiara's most popular models. After a few years of owner feedback the Holland, Michigan builder decided to improve on the boat where it needed it -- by putting more room and utility in the stern. Now the 4500 can seat 8 people on deck for dinner, which can be grilled on a BBQ in the transom bustle, and the boat has loads more storage aft. And other things were changed, too.

Let's take a look...

cross ruler

Features Video

Tigé R20:

Making a Quality Wakeboat Affordable

Tigé R20

The Tigé R20 is designed to make world-class wake yet keep the price affordable.

If Mercedes can make an affordable version of their cars, then Tigé can make an affordable version of their boats. That's the mindset behind the R20, but how did they manage to pull it off? Certainly not by compromising on performance. We found this to be a great handling boat. How about cutting back on the build? We found
no evidence of that.  This boat saves you money by not being overloaded with fancy options that you may not care about. But if you do care, go ahead and pick and choose. It still handles the same.

So show me...

cross ruler

Features Video

Sea Ray 185 Sport:

Form, Functional and Substance

Sea Ray 185 Sport
Sea Ray offers the 185 Sport with your choice of three graphics packages that include the matching upholstery.

The 185 Sport has many of the styling attributes of her bigger sisters, such as
her raked windshield and signature sheerline.  More important from a comfort
and safety standpoint is the 185's deep cockpit that is noteworthy in this size boat. 
We tested the 185 Sport recently have a full report on her. 


Request a test drive

cross ruler

New Boat

World Cat 320 EC:
Now With Standard Hardtop

World Cat 320 EC
With a LOA of 32’2” (9.8 m) the 320 EC is roomy enough for spending the night at the canyons, or the islands. It all depends on who’s onboard. The family or the fishing buds.

When you hang around the offices of long enough you start to get a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase “fish and family friendly.” It’s just too easy to throw a couple of rod holders on, toss in a berth or two, and send the whole thing off to marketing for polishing. Most often, we just see right through the hype, but in the case of the World Cat 320 EC, it’s evident that this is a company that really gets it, and here is where it shows. Far from just throwing the pieces of the pie together and serving, this boat even adds a touch of luxury. And just wait till you see the list of standards.


Request factory pricing

cross ruler

Test Video

Yamaha FX HO Series:

Performance and Reliability

Yamaha FX HO Series
Seen in this front view, the new look of the FX HO is a little more striking than what we usually see from Yamaha. What is hard to make out in this image is the beautiful metallic paint they have chosen -- not a gel coat.

The Yamaha FX HO series incorporates two watercrafts, the FX HO and the FX Cruiser HO which are identical machines except for some cosmetic and feature differences. We have tested every evolution each year and have found the performance to be consistent and reliable. Usually conservative on looks, the latest versions have a more aggressive appearance.  The top deck utilizes a premium automotive paint, the finish is world class.

Take a closer look in the full video test and review...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Stingray 225 SX:

Designed and Built For Speed

Stingray 225 SX
Stingray’s sole cuddy in the company’s 23-model line-up, the 225 SX, measures 22 feet, 11 inches and is in its second year of production.

Cuddys are designed for a focused audience of boaters who ask for little more than speed, performance, comfort – and sports car looks! These enthusiasts want to go fast and look cool first and foremost. Issues such as ski/wakeboard storage and Bimini tops usually arise later, if it all. Where once nearly all sportboats were cuddys, today fewer than 10% of the new sportboats sold are of that type. But they might be having a Renaissance!

Let's take a look at the Stingray 225 SX...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Jeanneau NC 9:

Designed for the Times

Jeanneau NC 9
The Jeanneau NC 9 is 30'11" (9.43 m) LOA, with a beam of 10'4" (3.15 m) and a draft of 2'11" (.91 m). She has a displacement of 10,648 lbs. (4,830 kgs.)

If you would like to get out on the water with your family in a new, seaworthy cruising boat, but the current economy has you thinking it's not a good idea -- then let us introduce you to Jeanneau's "New Concept" 9. In a nutshell, the new concept is to pack most of the utility of a larger cruiser into a smaller space by converting aspects of the boat into dual use. Secondly, Jeanneau eliminates expensive, unnecessary details and amenities -- without reducing the boat's sea-keeping abilities -- but keeps her looking up-market at the same time. The result is a stylish coastal cruising boat for a family of four to six that is affordable. The NC 9 is truly a New Concept.

See her now...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Princecraft 220 WS:

Aluminum Deckboat With Sizzle

Princecraft 220 WS
The 22'2" (6.8 m) Princecraft has an 8'1" (2.5 m) beam and is light, stable and fast. Because she's aluminum you don't have to worry when the kids take her out.

Because the Ventura 220 WS is low to the water and has a dropped deck at the bow, she can be classified as a deckboat, but because of the seating arrangement, helm, and aluminum construction, she also has elements of a pontoon boat -- perhaps capturing the best aspects of both.
There is nothing on the market that we are aware of that is quite like the Ventura line of aluminum boats made by Princecraft. They range in length from 19' (5.79 m) to 22' (6.70 m) and all have an 8' 1" (2.46 m) beam and all are pretty much the same abaft the helm.


Request a brochure

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Cobia 21 Bay:
Major Changes for the 2012 Model

Cobia 21 Bay
Cobia has made major changes in its 21 Bay for the 2012 model year.

Cobia, manufactured by Maverick Boat Company, is an old name in fishing boats and its boats have never looked better. The 21 Bay has had a major redesign on deck for 2012, making her even more competitive with other boats in this class. With a 15-degree deadrise at the transom she will scoot and at 2,050 lbs. (931 kgs.)
dry and without engine, she should be easy to trailer behind most mid-sized SUVs. So, either way, you can get to fishing grounds fast.

Take a look...

cross ruler

Captain's Report

Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S:

Single or Twin Engine Power

Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S
The 210 Challenger S comes with six stainless cleats and all stainless fittings standard as well as a Bimini top as standard. Look at all of the stowage and the ease of getting to it.

It is not often that a builder gives the consumer an option of single or twin engine power engine installations in a boat where the engines are placed inboard. But that is the case with the Sea-Doo 210 Challenger series. Sea-Doo offers this boat with either a supercharged 1.5L engine, or twin naturally aspirated engines. The builder has worked hard to maximize interior space. The 210 Challenger series (it comes in several models) makes a good, all-around water vehicle for someone with a family.

cross ruler

Test  Video

Volvo Penta OceanX:

The Problem Solver

Volvo Penta OceanX

With maintenance free gimbal bearings and U-joints, and standard power steering this may be your next drive of choice, especially if you plan to keep your boat for the long haul.

Volvo Penta has stepped up and created an outdrive that solves nearly all of the problems that plague the average boater. Things like corrosion, sand in the cooling system, blown out exhaust bellows, and the like. It's a bit more expensive than
a basic outdrive, but it's a great investment not only from a resale perspective, but also if you plan to keep your new boat for the long haul. Take a look at our detailed features video to see just how Volvo Penta can solve problems for you.

Bring on the salt water..


Shurhold Snap-Stick:

No More Corroded

Snaps or Zippers


Before laying up your boat for the winter, protect your snaps and zippers.

If there is something that all boaters can relate to, it's corrosion. So how about when you go to uncover the boat and you can’t get the snap to unsnap, or you can’t get the zippers to move? (#*[email protected]!!) The team at Shurhold has a simple and effective product that can prevent this from happening and keep your language civil. Snap-Stick is designed to keep your snaps and zippers from corroding and also act as a lubricant. Use it when laying up your boat to protect gear all winter. Watch a video on the Snap-Stick to see it in action....

You can get all the info on the product here.

Where in the World?

Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week

Find out where this picture was taken and when...

See the larger picture, when and who took it -- and where!

Send us your favorite boating images.

When sending a photo, let us know when, where and what boat you were

Christmas Gift Idea's Smart Boating Course:
The BEST Christmas Gift

Smart Boating
It's time to become the smartest boater in the marina. Re-learn what you've forgotten, learn what you never knew before. This course takes you up to the professional level with all-video lessons.

With more content than any other boating course, the Smart Boating course makes a perfect gift for the boater in your life. Perhaps that is why the NMMA started promoting the course after just one look. It's the most complete boating course available...period. Order your 4-disc DVD box set today and get it in time for the holidays. Fits perfectly in a stocking.  We cannot guarantee the course
will arrive before Christmas -- but, it still makes a great gift! 

Order here...

the trailer...


Visit and "like" our page to watch unedited video found only on Facebook...

 cross ruler

Lesson of the Week

Preparing Your Boat for Transport

Lesson of the Week

Smart Boating

Towing your boat is a big responsibility. Make sure you follow the proper steps and guidelines when preparing your boat for transport.

This week Capt. Steve goes over six lessons and guidelines on tips to safely trailer your boat.  These are basic procedures which all recreational boaters should be aware of. The videos presented this week are part of’s USCG-approved Boating Course. Watch these video boating lessons every week on

To view this week’s lessons --

To order all lessons --

cross ruler

Ducky Award Winner

Ducky Winner

First Place

"Waterskiing at the 1000 Islands!" 
- M. Mcnall

Second Place

“The Smith's are always coming up with creative ways to get the bugs and birds out of their Christmas trees!” - D. Flynn

Honorable Mention

“Ever since he got promoted to ‘branch’ manager, he has loads of free time.”

- M. Burton

What's Going

On Here?

WIGOH 12/21/11

You write the caption! Will you win the coveted "Ducky Award" for best caption?

Simply fill in your caption and you may get lucky -- quack here.

We need reader help!

If you have a picture that you think needs some explanation, email it to us., LLC
51 Bank Street, Suite 2A
Stamford, CT 06901
[email protected]

All articles, Captain's Reports, video content or other
material which appear on and in its newsletters are accurate and factual
to the best knowledge of and its staff. All findings, beliefs, experiences,
or endorsements presented are the honest opinions of or its contributors.
In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 advises its readers that content
that appears in its newsletter or on its website may have been produced for compensation
or the prospect of future compensation. makes no claims for the veracity
or motivation of reader comments, Owners’ Reports, and other contributions which
are all clearly labeled as such.